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Chain links

I was once taught to solder single chain links like this: cut the
rings and drop them into a small dish of liquid flux, cut small
pieces of solder and space them out on a soldering block, lay the
links with the joint directly over the solder, let the flux dry,
then all you do is slowly pass the torch over the joints and
magically the solder leaps into the joint. I thought this was just
totally cool when I was a student. We used the rings to weave
Roman chains. - Deb

deb if you want to make links for roman chain use fine silver then
you can skip the flux and the solder sb

 deb if you want to make links for roman chain use fine silver
then you can skip the flux and the solder sb 

Now that I make jewelry for a living I don’t have time to make
roman chains but I don’t see how I could skip the solder…

The fine silver is a lot easier to make links with but if the item
made is a braclet and the owner puts it on by sliding it on over
her wrist, it may strech. Rio has some round sterling that has a
solder center that would also be easy and less likely to strech.

Marilyn Smith, Midwest USA

deb if you use sterling silver for links take two pliers and
just leave them as close together as your can- no soldering…
They are so strong they won’t come apart… But try to abutt them
together real good!! Fine silver just fuse them together… easy
as pie… calgang

deb know what you mean about the time factor invoved in making
chain. in some way i find it kind of meditative though. what i do
to make links is put them on a charcoal block ( about 20 ) with
the seams down then heat till red and then just an extra hit at
the seam and they will fuse. no flux, no solder, no pickle, but
it only will work with fine siver. sb in hotlanta

Hi–I have found that sterling links only hold without solder of
they are at most 18 gauge, or even better 16 gauge. If there is
any tension on them they can still be pulled apart. Fusing fine
silver links is really easy as long as you don’t try to heat them
too quickly, and make sure the ends really fit together ,otherwise
they just melt down and get lumpy. Sandra

Hi Deb,

Most wire sold is in a ‘half hard’ state unless you specify you
want some other hardness (dead soft, hard, spring hard). Another
trick you can use to make unsoldered links less prone to opening is
use hardened wire. You can ‘harden’ dead soft & half hard wire very
easily yourself.

1.Clamp one end of the wire in a vise or fasten to a secure

2.Put a cup hook (or handmade hook) in the chuck of an electric
drill. (hand drills take longer).

3.Attach the loose end of the wire to the hook.

4.Pull the wire taut with the drill.

5.While keeping the wire taut, start the drill & twist the wire
until it’ s hard enough or breaks. The wire usually breaks at one
end or the other. This same technique can be used to make twisted
wire. If making twisted wire, put both ends of the wire in the
vise. Place the center of the wire over the cup hook and twist.
You’ll find rings made from hardened wire don’t open as easily as
those made from softer wire. When winding coils from hardened
wire, the coil will unwind a bit when it 's cut from the wire
supply. All the rings will be the same size, just large r than the
mandrel they were wound on. If size is critical, a little
experimentation with smaller mandrels will help you arrive at one
that gives results in rings of the required size. Usually links
made of twisted wire or links that will be shaped into othe r than
round need to be fused or soldered.